All teenagers – and most fathers, too – always are looking for the newest tech gadget, whether it’s a tablet, laptop, digital camera or smartphone. And if your grad is headed soon to college, it’s an ideal time to get them on the right technology footing.
Of course, finding what’s hot without busting your budget can be challenging. CNET (www.cnet.com) is a great place to begin your gift search. With helpful, insightful product reviews, well-organized categories to search and supporting materials to provide more detail, this site makes gift-shopping for your family’s technology enthusiasts easy and convenient.
CNET’s top-rated cell phones are Apple’s iPhone5, Samsung’s GalaxyS III, HTC’s Droid DNA, Pantech’s Discover and Nokia’s Lumia 920. While the iPhone and Galaxy models are at higher price points ($199.99), the Droid, Discover and Lumia phones can be found for as little as $49.99.
CNET also has rated the increasingly popular tablet class of mobile devices, with the Apple iPad (fourth generation), Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF 700, Google’s Nexus 7 (16GB), Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD 8.9 and the Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ earning high marks. The iPad and the Android-based Asus models are priced in the $429 to $625 range, while the Nexus, Kindle and Nook tablets are more economically priced from $199 to $299.
Laptops were evaluated by CNET based on value, power and style, with Apple’s MacBook Pro and its amazing Retina Display leading the way. Other top models include Apple’s MacBook Air 13-inch, Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13, Acer Aspire S7-391-9886, and Acer Aspire M5-481PT-6488. The MacBook Pro is on the higher end of the cost spectrum (at around $2,199), with the MacBook Air and Lenovo IdeaPad priced at around $1,100. The Acer models range from $1,578 (Aspire S7) to a value-priced $619 (Aspire M5).
Both dads and grads will appreciate the Roku LT Streaming Media Box, which also carries a high CNET rating. Priced right at just $50, the Roku LT streams movies, TV shows, videos and music from services such as Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, Pandora, HBO.go – all while using a broadband connection, such as Frontier’s High-Speed Internet Service! (Frontier customers can stream from the TumTiki site, www.TumTiki.com, which offers the best in movies and TV programming.)
Consumer Reports is another good resource for evaluating technology gift ideas. The online site, www.consumerreports.org, helps “e-consumers” in the same ways that the magazine has been helping with buying choices for more than 75 years.
Looking for a more spur-of-the moment gift? Treat your Dad or grad to a night out at the movies. Theater gift certificates are available from www.fandango.com, and specially designed, personalized cards and certificates instantly can be emailed to your recipient.
No matter your gift choice, technology makes it easier to honor fathers and graduates on their special days.
Denise Sperle, a volunteer columnist for the Irrigator, is the Central Valley general manager for Frontier Communications. She welcomes questions about technology and Internet safety at email@example.com or www.frontier.com.